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Front side metallization of silicon solar cells by direct printing of molten metal

: Gerdes, B.; Jehle, M.; Lass, N.; Riegger, L.; Spribille, A.; Linse, M.; Clement, F.; Zengerle, R.; Koltay, P.


Solar energy materials and solar cells 180 (2018), pp.83-90
ISSN: 0927-0248
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()
PV Produktionstechnologie und Qualitätssicherung; Photovoltaik; Silicium-Photovoltaik; Pilotherstellung von industrienahen Solarzellen

In this work, a new approach for the front side metallization of silicon solar cells is presented. Molten solder (Sn96Ag3Cu) is directly printed in a non-contact manner on solar cell precursors via StarJet technology. The StarJet technology features a pneumatically driven, heatable printhead with a reservoir of molten metal and a star-shaped silicon nozzle chip. Using this printhead, a jet of molten metal with 55 µm ± 5 µm diameter is generated and used to apply busbars as well as contact fingers on prefabricated electroplated seed layers. After deposition via StarJet, printed fingers have a minimum width of 70 µm and a mean aspect ratio of 0.94. The printed metallization is evaluated optically and electrically. Aluminum back surface field silicon solar cells with front side electroplated NiAg seed layers and StarJet metallization (busbars and fingers) show efficiencies of up to 18.1% after degradation. Solder is about 30–40 times cheaper than silver and therefore may allow cost-efficient solar cell metallization. The StarJet metallization on electroplated NiAg seed layers is fully functional and requires no additional post-processing steps. Only 6 mg of Ag per cell are consumed for the seed layer. As a proof-of-principle, a module is demonstrated, which consists of four solar cells that are metallized via StarJet.